Promising to appoint an OBC chief minister and replicating the good governance model of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP released its manifesto on Saturday for the 30 November Assembly election in Telangana in which the BJP is seen as the third player in a contest which has all along appeared to be a direct fight between the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) and the Congress.
Promising to abolish religious reservation and increasing quota for OBCs and STs, Union Home Minister Amit Shah released the BJP manifesto in which the party assured voters that it would give greater representation to different castes after a survey and also assured a reduction in petrol prices in the state on coming to power.
“It’s time to give VRS to BRS,” said Shah just before releasing the BJP’s manifesto and targeting the BRS, previously known as Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), for alleged corruption and dynasty rule. The BJP promised an MSP of Rs 3,100 for paddy and said it would create a market intervention fund for turmeric. A turmeric processing unit will also be established. The saffron party also promised to offer jobs to 2.5 lakh in five years. He also offered Rs 10 lakh health insurance to the poor. Shah announced that the BJP will ensure free visit to Ram temple in Ayodhya for all the residents of Telangana, if the saffron party is voted to power.
Earlier, addressing an election rally in Nalgona, Amit Shah said, “BRS means corruption. Mission Bhagiratha scam was done by BRS. The Miyapur land scam was done by BRS. BRS party took bribes in the Kaleshwaram project. The BRS party did the liquor scam as well.” Describing both the Congress and BRS as dynastic parties Shah said, “KCR wants to elect his son as CM and Sonia Gandhi wants Rahul Gandhi to become the PM. We have decided that when we form the government no son or daughter will become a CM but a leader of the Backward Class will become CM. This election is PM Modi’s good governance against KCR’s negligence”
In contrast to the BJP poll promises, the BRS manifesto is also full of social welfare schemes including proposals to hike social security pension amounts, increasing financial assistance given under the ‘Rythu Bandhu’ investment support scheme for farmers and providing LPG cylinders at Rs 400 each. A free life insurance of Rs 5 lakh was also offered by BRS chief and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to all 93 lakh families living below the poverty line (BPL) in the state.
The Congress manifesto seems to have copied the script from poll promises made in states like Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. The party offered freebies like 200 units of free electricity and welfare schemes for women and students in its poll promises released a day earlier. Under its Mahalakshmi scheme, the Congress has promised that all women beneficiaries will receive Rs 2,500 every month and gas cylinders for Rs 500 and free travel in public transport buses.
For farmers, the Congress has announced Rs 15,000 per acre annual aid and offer Rs 12,000 per year for agriculture labour, bonus of Rs 500 per year for paddy crop, Rs 4,000 monthly pension for senior citizens, plots for all Telangana movement fighters and Rs 5-lakh aid for the homeless.
Telangana will go for Assembly elections on November 30 and counting of votes, along with those of four other poll-bound states, is scheduled for December 3. In the previous Assembly election in 2018, the ruling BRS won 88 of the 119 seats, grabbing 47.4 per cent of the total vote share. The Congress came a distant second with just 19 seats.